The northern California circuit reconvened January 12th at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational, held at James Logan High School. In finals, Campolindo’s Kevin Deng and Krish Visht defeated Los Altos’s Javin Pombra & Shirley Cheng, affirming the resolution that "The automobile has had a greater impact on the U.S. than the computer." Deng & Visht won on a 3-0 decision. 

 Deng & Visht pose after awards ceremony ( Image courtesy of Krish Visht)   

Deng & Visht pose after awards ceremony (Image courtesy of Krish Visht)  

Spanning three days, MLK hosted a total of 110 parliamentary teams, expanding from 103 entries in 2017. There was no novice division, resulting in a field of varying skill levels. Unlike the previous year, the tournament directors moved the octofinal round to Saturday evening, allowing the tournament to conclude Sunday afternoon. 

32 teams advanced to double-octofinals, making up 29% of the field, a small decrease from the 31% of teams that broke in 2017. The tournament saw five teams go undefeated in preliminary rounds, with Clovis North's Nick Boroski & Pooja Heragu claiming first seed. All teams with 5-0 and 4-1 records advanced, with high speaker points determining the advancing 3-2 teams. 

In the past two years, MLK witnessed a closeout between two teams from the same school in the final round. This year, semifinals featured two teams from Campolindo and two teams from Los Altos, paving the way for a potential closeout by either school. However, Campolindo and Los Altos both lost one team in the semifinal round, resulting in only the second debated final round in the past four years — Claremont closed out the tournament in 2015. 

Generally, resolutions at northern California invitationals pertain to current events, and lead to more policy rounds than fact and value. Some topics at Martin Luther King were more abstract than debaters were used to, such as “The government should pop the bubble," and "The government should intervene." 

"The topics were really different because the majority of them were value, fact, or metaphor rounds," said Irvington's Shevanti Kumar, who broke to double-octofinals. "I feel like it prepared us well for States.”

“I thought that the topics were generally very conceptual, given that there wasn’t any internet prep," said tournament champion Kevin Deng. "It was surprising to have a metaphor topic in the mix, but the MLK tournament always has a fair share of traditional parliamentary topics.” 


OCTOFINALS

Campolindo Shannon Bonet & Sharon Yuan def. Davis Blayne Clegg & Avery Keller (2-1) 

Campolindo Kevin Deng & Krish Visht def. Evergreen Jenna Bao & Winnie Dong (2-1) 

Clovis North Nick Boroski & Pooja Heragu def. Jesuit Alexander Bonilla & Donghyun Kim (2-1)

Menlo Atherton Chris Ikonomou & Mani Sehgal def. Cupertino Yash Rajwanshi & Leo Rassieur (2-1)

Los Altos/Campolindo Ryan Lee & Sophie Stankus def. Jesuit High School Nicholas Conover & Ryan lbiani (3-0) 

Los Altos Shirley Cheng & Javin Pombra def. Stockdale Joeyta Banerjee & Isabelle Khuu (3-0) 

Irvington Reetam Ganguli & Isha Sanghvi def. Menlo Atherton Quinn Hammel & Russell Ives (3-0)

Los Altos Alex Wong & William Zeng  def. Archbishop Mitty Rahul Ramakrishnan & Vedant Vamshidhar (2-1) 

QUARTER FINALS

Campolindo Bonet & Yuan def. Clovis North Boroski & Heragu (2-1) 

Campolindo Deng & Visht def. Los Altos/Campolindo Lee & Stankus (2-1) 

Los Altos Cheng & Pombra def. Menlo Atherton Ikonomou & Sehgal (3-0) 

Los Altos Wong & Zeng def. Irvington Ganguli & Sanghvi (2-1) 

SEMIFINALS

Campolindo DV def. Los Altos WZ (2-1) 

Los Altos CP def. Campolindo BY (3-0) 

FINALS

Campolindo DV def. Los Altos CP (3-0) 


Results can be found here


Our Northern California correspondents are Emily Her, who competes for Dougherty Valley High School, and Anoushka Singal, who competes for Irvington High School.